The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

February 22, 2017 Whitney Review 0 Comments

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix SweeneyThe Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Published by Ecco on March 22nd 2016
Genres: General Fiction
Source: Library

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.

The best way to describe the novel The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is to compare it to The Royal Tenenbaums but without the understated humor. The Plumb children were self-absorbed, entitled and while adults acted like children. In short, the characters were all unlikable and were not the reason I became invested in the novel. What kept me reading was the how. What caused the Matriarch to dip into “the nest” and cause such discourse? It was like an episode of What Would You Do? and anticipated the outcome with all its odd turns of events.

I liked that there was a small sense of acceptance from the three children who were essentially screwed out of their inheritance by their older sibling’s actions, however, I didn’t feel that said sibling had the comeuppance that I had been hoping for and for that reason wasn’t completely satisfied by the end. As a whole, The Nest is a good beach read with a plot that keeps you reading to learn its conclusion.


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